Pieces of time

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Rodger On Retirement

We are all given pieces of time. Some are given more than others. What we do with that time defines the measure of the person. Some waste the time they are given, others race the clock to accomplish truly magnificent things.

In the course of my work as a financial advisor focusing on retirement issues, I see many preparing for the day that their paycheck will stop. I see others not seeming to care at all, with preparation being the last thing on their minds.

These people live for now, not thinking of the future. Maybe they save what is left over at months’ end. Others save and invest first, living on what remains after methodically adding to their accounts month after month, year after year. This reminds me of the childhood stories of the squirrel stashing nuts away in the hollow tree for winter.

Recently, I visited a continuing care retirement community in Florida. While there, I sat in the lobby watching the seniors come and go on their daily routines. The residents all appeared to be in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. Some needed wheelchairs, others walkers, and some walked unassisted.

These people were enjoying more pieces of time than others. They were with family and friends in a beautiful setting. This would not have been possible had they not prepared and invested year after year, while old age was a far off idea in their mind.

I will contrast this with upsetting news I received upon my return. A colleague I have known for years had died suddenly at the age of 59. I sat there, not believing that my friend was gone. I had seen him last month. We had laughed and smiled that we were both 59, and could withdraw money from our IRA accounts without penalty. I remember the twinkle in his eye as we talked. It was the same twinkle and smile I had come to know year after year. I wish my friend was given more pieces of time. I will miss him, and the wonderful conversations we had.

My mentor, the late Jim Rohn, would tell us in his speeches not to waste time. We are all given just so many seasons, and they are brief. I decided long ago to heed his words and prepare, and make the most of the time I do have. So, in ending, hug someone you love today and remember that our time here is both limited and precious.

Copyright 2015 by Rodger A. Friedman
Forging Bonds of Steel, LLC

2015-10                                                                                                                034694